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Opinion
Sam Fazeli

Ticks and Lyme Disease: Your Questions Answered

It's tick season and it could be bad this year, increasing the threat of Lyme disease. Here’s what you need to know.

Tick-borne illnesses are a growing health threat, but there are treatments available and vaccines on the way.

Tick-borne illnesses are a growing health threat, but there are treatments available and vaccines on the way.

Photographer: gabort71/iStockphoto

Lyme disease, a tick-borne ilness that can cause long-term problems in some who catch it, is a growing health threat. The number of cases reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2019 was up more than 50% from 2004, and a warming climate is expanding the areas and seasons in which ticks thrive. This year, weather conditions may result in a larger-than-average tick population and increased risk of exposure, yet no vaccine is available. Sam Fazeli, a Bloomberg Opinion contributor who covers the pharmaceutical industry for Bloomberg Intelligence, answers questions about the disease and when protection might arrive. The conversation has been edited and condensed.

What is Lyme disease and how do you get it?